I got a call from my season ticket representative yesterday! It’s nice to see that they follow up. I know that the only reason is because there is money in it for them, but it’s sort of like being asked to a party; I might not be able to go, but it’s nice to be requested. As so happens, I *do* plan to get season tickets; but likely not until Fan Fest. I have no reason to do it any sooner, as I have no last year’s seats to hold. So I need to call him back and let him know. Still, it gets me all giddy about the 2015 season, and we haven’t even made it as far as the winter meetings yet!
The Mariners have released some dates of interest for February 2015, which are pretty much identical to dates of interest from February 2014. Pitchers and catchers report on the 20th, and everyone else shows up on the 24th. Our free agents are listed here, and while I’d like to see Joe Beimel, Endy Chavez and Chris Young come back, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they wound up on someone else’s roster. Out of all of them, I would imagine Young would be the guy they’d keep. The main sadness in that list is of course Franklin Gutierrez. I don’t think I have enough time on my lunch hour to go into all the reasons that Gutierrez’s departure is both necessary and tremendously depressing, but if some other team is willing to take a further gamble on his health, I hope he becomes Death to Flying Things once again. Poor guy. If they decide to sign Kendrys Morales again, I may have to set something on fire. I can’t do that again, and I hope that a lesson was learned this year. I feel like I still have reason to be skeptical, but at the same time, maybe now the Ms know what type of player they should be looking for, based on this season. I’ll stop beating the offense drum, everyone is well aware of our shortcomings behind the plate.
The crop of league-wide free agents this year is not too shabby. I would be lying if I said that seeing Ichiro’s name on that list didn’t make me want to do a little dance or maybe panic a little. I don’t know what Ichiro’s plans for retirement might be – if any at all – but I would be totally down for a Griffey-style return, with position playing allowed, because while I haven’t been able to pay much attention to Mr Suzuki while he’s been in NYC, I haven’t heard of any shortcomings in right field per se, and that leads me to believe he is still fully serviceable at that position. His singles count has gone down rather significantly, and that is worrisome. Pinstripe Alley gives him a C- on the year, and since they have been watching him more closely than I have, I will defer to them. Still, it’d be great to see him back in Seattle, even if only for a little while; but that’s 2012 me, who remembers how sad so many of us were when he had to leave.
Hisashi Iwakuma and Robinson Cano will be having a little fun during the offseason, being able to keep their skills sharp as part of the MLB All-Star team traveling to Japan to play several exhibition games, starting next Tuesday. The Mariners have also released the spring training schedule for next March. Due to my short trip to Denver, I am also debating the possibility of an extended weekend to go catch a game or two there, but that will depend on quite a bit that is currently outside of my control. Failing being able to go down there, I will happily enjoy listening to it on the radio, and simply accept that Denver will be my goal for 2015.
Lastly, Kyle Seager has won his first Gold Glove. Lock him down immediately! The Orioles also had three winners in Adam Jones, JJ Hardy, and Nick Markakis. Congratulations, everyone. Enjoy your metal sculptures! I have to get back to work.